Is This Menopause?
Menopause is a state in a women’s life when menstrual cycles stop as a course of natural biological process. This is more of a gradual process and does not occur all of a sudden. Technically, it is defined to occur 12-months after the last menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycles first become infrequent and erratic and then cease completely over a period of time.
This phase starts in the early 40s for some women but can also be attained by some at the age of 50. Typically, it is evidenced in the 45 to 48 age group. Woman ought to understand that the onset of menopause is only an end to their reproductive lives. Other aspects of their lives continue, just as normal.
The symptoms that indicate the onset of menopause include:
- Irregularity of periods
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Night sweats
- Unplanned weight gain
- Sleep problems
The fundamental cause of menopause is the natural decline in the production of reproductive hormones. From puberty to age 30, the ovaries produce increasing or adequate levels of progesterone &oestrogen. However, from age 30 onwards the level of production starts declining and then completely stops by menopause.
Some of the other causes of menopause include – hysterectomy (a surgery for the removal of uterus); undergoing chemotherapy & radiation therapy; and a primary insufficiency of ovaries which may result in an early onset of menopause.
Once a woman attains menopause, she is likely to experience – hot flushes, night sweats, and itchiness of the vaginal area, decreased libido, weight-gain and possible depression. It is a sensitive & emotional phase in a women’s life wherein she needs support from her family, spouse and friends.
On a personal front, she ought to stay strong and deal with menopause with the following pointers.
- Adhere to a balanced, healthy diet
- Keeping a check on your weight
- Stay away from smoking
- Regular exercise
- Speak to your gynaecologist for a hormone replacement therapy
Every woman ought to understand that menopause is an inevitable stage in life. Some may attain it earlier and some a little later. It is a natural process that will unfold, and you need to gear yourself to let it happen.